Welcome to Liverpool FC... Xherdan Shaqiri

What a fantastic signing. Exactly what we were crying out for - more strength and depth. This signing delivers that and a heck of a lot more to boot.

The Ox isn't expected to return from injury until October and the likelihood is, it will then take him many more weeks to regain full match fitness, so I believe this signing is a crucial one. I also think that Shaqiri offers much more than just midfield reinforcement and is absolutely tailor-made for us.

Apart from 'just' Salah, Firmino and Mané, who else do we have to provide our fast paced attacking width and who else could we have signed, who would not only meet the level of skill that we want but also fit the following criteria:
  • Be ready to hit the ground running, ideally with EPL and CL experience - check & check.
  • Be in the prime of their career, just about to hit their peak playing years - Shaqiri is 26 - check.
  • Have a good work ethic and be prepared to graft for their place, knowing they're not guaranteed to start every game but that LFC are a team which reward hard work (case in point, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) - from what I have seen of Xherdan previously - check.
  • Have a playing style which is compatible with our lightening fast attack - check.
  • Be strong, resilient and able to cope with the demands of such a style - missing an average (over the last 10 seasons) of just 5.6 days per season due to injury - check.
  • Be versatile enough to play in multiple positions and roles - check.
  • Have a name which rhymes with attack - Shaq.
Lady and Gentleman, I give to you Xherdan Shaqiri and for the measly sum of just thirteen million pounds, I defy anybody to tell me this signing isn't an absolutely fantastic one.

We cannot reasonably expect our above mentioned trio to start and play every single one of the many fixtures, which a packed season brings. Especially if we want to mount a serious challenge on the Premier League title as well as domestic and European Cups. This signing though edges us a good deal closer to having the interchangeability required to do exactly that.

Plus, though we already know all of the above existing good points about our latest addition, when you couple them with the improvements we've seen our other recent signings make under Jurgen Klopp's tutelage, just think how good Shaqiri can be for us.

Sprinkle in a bit of renewed Henderson, returned Lallana, perennially robust Milnero and some additional Fabinho and Keita, and there we have it - a totally bolstered, improved and extremely exciting midfield. And when you also include an Alisson, who appears to be on her way, I find it a mouth watering prospect and can't wait to see our newly shaped team take to the pitch.

To wrap this one up then, all that is left to do is include the obligatory pen to paper picture.

And leave you with a showreel that is well worth watching - I think it's safe to say we're in for a few (more) goal of the season contenders. Some absolute humdingers here, as well as speed, strength and tenacity in spades. Not to mention plenty of fine ball control and general skill. A great player.

Oh, I might also just leave this for consideration: Philippe Coutinho career totals - Apps 329, Gls 79. Xherdan Shaqiri career totals - Apps 342, Gls 66. Not far off are they; difference being, one of them is now playing for the best team in the world, with the best fans and the best manager ;-)

Late edit - it's now been announced by Jurgen himself, that The Ox will be lucky to play any games at all, for the whole of the 2018/19 season - very sad news for player, fans and Club alike. It's clear though that the Club knew this more or less from the get go, and that (imo) adds even more credence to the Shaqiri signing.
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